Meet the Barista: Emma Lyell, Bestie Cafe

Emma Lyell is the Barista at the Auckland hotspot, Bestie Cafe. After working in cafes throughout the entirety of her University degree, it was only after graduating with a big student loan did she realise hospitality was home. 

Meet the Barista: Emma Lyell from Bestie Cafe in Auckland

Lyell was drawn to the customer service side of the hospitality industry, not necessarily considering herself ‘super nerdy’ about coffee, but she does love the mix of speed and multitasking that being a barista requires. She said the best part of her job is when things at the cafe are incredibly busy but everyone in the store is happy, staff and customers alike.

Lyell’s favourite coffee blend is Eightthitry and it was a no-brainer for her to have the brand on board for Bestie’s opening, “Eightthirty for life!”

Her go-to coffee order is an oat milk flat white, noting that there has definitely been an increase in the popularity of plant-based milk and milk alternatives. With oat milk orders nearly matching cow milk orders at Bestie, she uses the All Good brand as it froths like regular milk and matches well with the coffee. 

Bestie cafe is pivoting towards more takeaway coffees at the moment, with customers making the change during the pandemic and continuing the trend as restrictions lift. Despite all the takeaway orders, Lyell still considers latte art to be important for the customer experience, as it shows a barista takes pride in their work and has attention to detail. 

When not behind the coffee machine, Lyell can be found hiking, spending time with her boyfriend and cat, or watching F1 on Netflix with a glass of wine. She is incredibly grateful to have people back out and about, as it serves as a reminder of why she loves being a barista. 

“It’s been a crazy couple of years and it finally feels like things are heading back to a positive space for the industry.”